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Herbivory of Leaf-Cutting Ants: A Case Study on Atta columbica in the Tropical Rainforest of Panama

Monograph

Series: Ecological Studies Volume: 164

By: B Wirth, H Herz, RJ Ryel, Beyschlag and Holldobler

230 pages, Col photos, figs, tabs

Springer-Verlag

Hardback | Dec 2002 | #136508 | ISBN: 3540438963
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £149.00 $190/€177 approx

About this book

Plant-animal interactions have become a focus of ecological research, with the processes of herbivory being of special interest. This volume examines the interactions of leaf-cutting ants with the rainforest vegetation on Barro Colorado Islands in Central America. It is the synthesis of field research on multiple scales extending over a period of several years. This work can serve as a model study summarizing and extending knowledge about herbivorous insect-plant relationships, and the resulting consequences on structural and functional features of tropical ecosystems. The text is an invaluable reference for researchers and land managers working in the fields of plant-animal interactions, herbivory, community ecology and biodiversity.

From the reviews: "... an impressive account of almost a decades work on the ecological importance of leaf-cutting ants. ... a fascinating monograph ... So if you are asked by your librarian this year for a "wish-list of books to buy" then this monograph on the true ecosystem engineers of the tropics should definietly be on it." (Phytocoenologia) "This volume examines the interactions of leaf-cutting ants with the rainforest vegetation on Barro Colorado Islands in Central America. It is the synthesis of field research on multiple scales extending over a period of several years. This work can serve as a model study summarizing and extending knowledge about herbivorous insect-plant relationships ! . The text is an invaluable reference for researchers and land managers working in the fields of plant-animal interactions, herbivory, community ecology and biodiversity." (Ethology, Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 16 (2), 2004) "The recently published book by R. Wirth and co-authors is an impressive account of almost a decades' work on the ecological importance of leaf-cutting ants. ! a fascinating monograph and hopefully an incentive for more, intensified research on the ecological impacts on leaf-cutting ants in the future. So if you are asked by your librarian this year for a 'wish-list of books to buy' then this monograph on the true ecosystem engineers of the tropics should definitely be on it." (Till Eggers, Phytocoenologia, Vol. 34 (1), 2004)


Contents

About this Book.- The Natural History of Leaf-Cutting Ants.- The Study Area - Barro Colorado Island.- Species Composition of the Forest.- Forest Light Regimes.- Canopy Structure of the Forest.- Colony Dynamics.- Harvest Dynamics.- The Trail System.- Host Plant Selection.- Herbivory Rates.- Herbivory and Light.- Seed Dispersal by Leaf-Cutting Ants.- Nutrient Cycling and Water Relations.- Conclusions: Ecosystem Perspectives.- References.- Subject Index.

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